Last week, Sunil Mittal-owned Bharti group’s OneWeb drew closer to its commercial launch expected sometime in 2023 when it successfully deployed 36 low earth orbit (LEO) satellites from the Indian Space Research Organisation’s launch facility in Sriharikota. With 462 satellites in space, the company has launched 70 per cent of its planned satellite fleet.
OneWeb is still, however, far behind Elon Musk’s Starlink, which has launched around 2,300 satellites and has roped in over 500,000 customers across 40 countries offering internet services from Europe and Japan through New Zealand, Estonia, and Malta to Ukraine.
But it is a tough business, even with just two LEO operators in the world. Musk admits Starlink is losing money. It lost 40 satellites this year from